Church measures attendance by weight
BRAINERD — Grace Valley Baptist church has been losing a dozen members per year. But according to a recent measure, the church is expanding 7 percent annually.
The reason: They now measure attendance by weight rather than per person.
“We may be shrinking numerically, but in sheer mass we’re growing fast,” says pastor Sam Winter.
The church meets in a former manufacturing facility with tonnage scales beneath the sanctuary floor. The staff turned on the scale “for kicks” one Sunday and measured the morning crowd. They were gratified to find that the weight was growing every week, especially during holidays.
They now weigh the congregation every Sunday and divide the number by the weight of the average American.
“It sounds cheesy, but it feels good to be growing, at least by one measure,” says the associate pastor. •